Christmas in the Hat, 1885

extracted from the Medicine Hat Times, December 31, 1885

The weather on Christmas Day was said by some to be the forerunner of a big storm, but up to this (Wednesday) moring the weather continues fine. The thermometer in the middle of the day registered 78.

The day was quietly passed here. The only thing worthy of note being the sumptuous bill of fare to which Mr. and Mrs. McRae invited the guests of the American to partake of. Dinner commenced at 2 and was server until 4:30. Over 100 persons being served. The following is


  • Oyster
  • Vegetable
  • Boiled White Fish, Egg Sauce
  • Stewed Chicken
  • Curried Mutton
  • Beefsteak Pie
  • Turkey and Cranberry Sauce
  • Lamb and Mint Sauce
  • Beef and Yorkshire Pudding
  • Pork and Apple Sauce
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Cabbage
  • Boiled and Baked Potatoes
  • Plum Pudding and Brandy Sauce
  • Madeira Pudding, Wine Sauce
  • Lemon and Apple Pie
  • Jam Tart
  • Apples
  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Black and Green Tea
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate

In the evening Miss Maggie McMillan was surprised to see about thirty five of the regular boarders take possession of the dining room, and her surprise was increased when Mr. Denham proceded to read an address and present her (on behalf of the boarders) with a very handsome purse containing about $40. Miss Maggie soon recovered her equilibrium, and in a few nicely worded sentences, thanked the donors and wished them the compliments of the season. Christmas, 1885, at the American, will long be remembered.

The American Hotel was built in 1883, one of the first hotels in town. Its history is outlined in an article from the Medicine Hat News, "Heritage in the Hat: The hole story".

South Railway Street, 1887 showing the American Hotel (tallest building)
Source: Images of Prairie Towns